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Career Women's Negotiation Tips for Business Success

Experienced business women share their advice for successful business negotiations.

  1. The Mars/Venus relationship needs to be top of mind in business relationships. Communication styles are different and as a result, negotiation can be complex. Our advice - keep your communication style direct by sharing plans, not concepts. Gain buy - in along the way. Think collaboration, not confrontation
  2. Use you mentors to help refine your negotiation skills. Pick a mentor from Mars and Venus. Get perspective from both sides of the communication spectrum so you can practice your negotiation skills before you are called on the carpet
  3. Women tend to think in terms of "getting along" vs getting what they want. Be clear on what you want and practice asking for it in a calm direct manner. Don't be confrontational - be direct. Getting fired up and emotional may have an adverse reaction.
  4. Stay focused. In a lively discussion that can be stressful, remain on point and on course to avoid a disaster.
  5. Gain buy-in by making sure that the other party is being heard. Repeat their points; use reinforcement language such as "Let me make sure I completely understand your point," and repeat what you heard.
  6. Be well prepared. Be sure to explore and understand your needs and motivations. Consider all elements and views on an issue. Predict others points of view, potential responses and possible areas of commonality. Do your research; gather together all the relevant information. If it's complicated, or outside your area of expertise, get advice from a mentor or colleague.
  7. Create solutions/agreements that try to meet both your needs. Remember we are all in business. Your suppliers have business goals and bottom-lines too. Do your homework and you will know what is a respectable compromise; It isn't always about money, maybe you can negotiate better terms, add-ons, additional services, etc.

Remember, negotiation is meeting somewhere in the middle - be prepared to compromise on some items and expect the other party to compromise on some...And remember, don't start with your bottom line!

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